Things That Matter

Guess What? Latinos Are Often Guilty Of Perpetuating White Supremacy And We Don’t Even Notice It

This past weekend, Americans watched in shock as “alt-right” members, neo-Nazis and white nationalists descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, attempting to spread their message of hate and intolerance. Clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters were numerous. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a man rammed his car into several counter-protesters. The man, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., was later charged with second-degree murder. Earlier that day, he was photographed displaying the symbols of a white nationalist group called Vanguard America, which later denied he was a member.

That weekend journalist Shaun King posted a video of several men beating a 20-year-old man named Deandre Harris. King, who was attempting to confirm the identities of the men behind the beating, found that one of the men, Alex Michael Ramos, identifies as Latino. A group called the Atlanta Antifascists then tweeted that Ramos was affiliated with the Atlanta chapter of the far-right organization Proud Boys and the far-right militia called the Georgia Security Force.

In a Facebook live video that has since been deleted, Ramos claimed he wasn’t racist because he was Puerto Rican.

Credit: Anthony Michael Ramos / Facebook

When a viewer asked why he marched with racists, Ramos said, “I stood by racist people but they weren’t racist to me.” Ramos’ assertion that his Puerto Rican roots meant he couldn’t be racist is a prime example of Latinos who are completely ignorant of their ability to perpetuate white supremacy.

Guess what? Latinos, both here and in Latin America, do and say plenty of things that promote anti-blackness — and most of the time we don’t even blink an eye when it happens. When it comes to discussing racism, we often subscribe to the black vs. white binary that we often see in the United States. If our views aren’t extreme, if we’re not a “full-blown racist,” then we’re completely absolved of perpetuating anti-blackness, right? Wrong. When we think like that, we tend to ignore the colorism — often subtle — that permeates through much of Latin America. It’s a difficult thing to confront, but if we don’t address it within our own community, we can’t expect it to magically resolve itself.

Pulitzer prize-winning Dominican-American author Junot Diaz once said, “White supremacy’s greatest trick is that it has convinced people that it exists always in other people, never in us.”

Don’t believe him?

Earlier this year, Carlos Hakas, the man who angrily knocked over an elotero’s cart in Los Angeles, exclaimed, “I’m not racist, I’m from Argentina!”

Credit: Imelda Reyes / Facebook

In 2015, Univision entertainment reporter Rodner Figueroa compared Michelle Obama to a cast member of “Planet of The Apes.”

When he was fired over the comments, Figueroa wrote an open letter to Michelle Obama saying he isn’t racist because he comes from a bi-racial family.

What about last year, when Black Lives Matter was marching in the streets and you heard someone (maybe it was you) say, “Latinos need to fight for our causes, like immigration reform,” completely ignoring the fact that there are black Latinos?

Credit: Scott Olson / Getty

It doesn’t just happen in the U.S. The idea that anti-blackness is only a thing perpetuated by “white Americans” is what leads a Mexican sports newspaper to make jokes like this one, literally days after a person died in Charlottesville:

Yes, Real Madrid are nicknamed “Los Blancos,” but the joke is clearly rooted in the idea that “white supremacy” is a problem “over there” in the U.S. and not in Mexico, where they released a stamp celebrating a cartoon character that is a racist stereotype.

Last year, Trilce Ortiz listed eight (out of many) ways that Latinos perpetuate anti-blackness.

8 Racist Habits Latinx Seriously Need To Drop

Right now would be a good time for us to revisit that and not just stop there, but continue to educate ourselves on how we can make sure we’re not promoting white supremacy.

H/T: Latino Rebels

READ: 8 Racist Habits Latinx Seriously Need To Drop

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Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Things That Matter

Iowa Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crime Charges After Running Over Latino and Black Children With Her Car

Photo: Polk County Jail via Associated Press

On Wednesday, an Iowa woman pled guilty to federal hate crime charges. The woman, 43-year-old Nicole Poole Franklin, intentionally hit a 12-year-old Black boy and a 14-year-old Latina with her car in 2019. The charges include two counts of violating the U.S Hate Crime Act, as Poole Franklin intended to kill the victims because of their ethnicity.

Nicole Poole Franklin admitted to authorities that she targeted the girl because she thought she looked “Mexican”. She thought the boy was an Islamic terrorist.

As part of her defense, Poole Franklin is claiming that she suffers from schizophrenia and PTSD. Since her arrest, she admitted to police officers that she smoked meth before going on her hate-filled rampage.

The incident, which happened in December of 2019, struck fear into the hearts of communities of color in Des Moines, Iowa, where the hate crimes took place. “Anytime things happen to any minority, people are concerned about what happened,” said Joe Gonzalez, the executive director of Latino Resources Inc. in Iowa. “It was a horrific thing and people were concerned — especially people of color.”

When Nicole Poole Franklin ran over the children, she injured the boy’s leg. The girl, Natalia Miranda, was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for two days.

Natalia Miranda was walking to junior high school on December 9, 2019, when Poole Franklin ran her down on the side walk. Miranda was unconscious for 40 minutes before she woke up and walked to school, where she alerted the authorities.

Natalia Miranda says she remembers the car speeding towards her, but she doesn’t remember being hit. “I was in the hospital and I tried moving, and I couldn’t get out of my bed,” the 14-year-old told KCCI. “Sitting up was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

As of now, prosecutors are recommending that Nicole Poole Franklin serve 27 years behind bars.

Poole Franklin is also looking at two charges of attempted murder–both of which could carry up to 25 years each. Prosecutors are recommending that she serves all of the jailtime–state and federal–at the same time.

Here’s to hoping that the justice system does what is right and puts Nicole Poole Franklin behind bars for a long time–if only to save the lives of innocent children of color whose only crime is walking down the street.

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

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